When a Health Care Power of Attorney Works

You need a health care power of attorney. So does your mom, dad, spouse, aunt, uncle, brother, sister, and child (age 18 or older.)

If you donít have a health care power of attorney in place and you canít make your own health care decisions, who will? Someone appointed by the court?

Who will make health care decisions?

To avoid court guardianship and to avoid someone not of your choosing making medical decisions on your behalf, you need an up to date health care power of attorney. If youíre like most people, you donít want the court or state law to decide who makes your medical decisions. You likely want to decide yourself.

Example of a health care power of attorney working

Frank and Joan were divorced, but on good terms. Frank admired Joanís medical knowledge and ability to communicate effectively with medical professionals. So, even though they were divorced, Frank named Joan as his agent under his health care power of attorney when he updated his estate plan.

Two years later, Frank suffered a stroke and was not able to understand or communicate with medical professionals. He couldnít give informed consent; but, the doctors needed someone to give informed consent so Frank could be treated.

They found Frankís Docubank card in his wallet. They immediately called Docubank and provided Frankís special identification number found on the card. Docubank emailed Frankís health care documents immediately. The doctors saw that Joan was listed as Frankís primary health care agent.

They called Joan and she came to the hospital. She conferred with the doctors, asked questions, asked for alternative treatments, and, when she was sure of the best decision, she gave informed consent for medical treatment. She remained at Frankís side in the hospital as his advocate, ensuring that he got the medical attention he needed and deserved.

Frankís health care power of attorney worked.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: John Vermillion
Experienced estate planning attorneys of the John R. Vermillion & Associates, LLC offer estate planning and business planning resources to residents of Dallas TX.

Copyright The Vermillion Law Firm LLC
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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